Syrian Army have liberated more areas during a large-scale counter-terrorism offensive in the country’s northwestern province of Idlib from the clutches of foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists, tightening the noose around the extremists operating in the troubled region.
Syrian military troops pressed ahead with their advances in the southern countryside of Idlib, and liberated strategic Ma’asaran town and the key village of al-Sawami’a from Takfiri terrorists on Monday, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.
The capture came after “intense clashes” with the extremists, SANA said, noting that army soldiers inflicted heavy losses upon the terrorists and destroyed their hideouts and military hardware.
The Syrian troops entered the key towns and villages of Ma’ar Shourin, al-Za’alana, al-Ghadfeh and al-Dana in the past 24 hours after dismantling foreign-backed militant camps in the same region, the report added.
On Sunday, SANA said that Syrian forces were inching closer to the city of Idlib, but foreign-backed Takfiri militants were preventing civilians from leaving through humanitarian corridors.
Syria’s al-Watan newspaper reported that army forces were “just around the corner” from the city, whose “doors are wide open.”
On Saturday, Syria’s Foreign Ministry wrote to the UN, stressing that the operation in Idlib and Aleppo against Takfiri elements “will not stop until the elimination of those terrorists, who threaten safety and security of Syrian civilians.”
Idlib and nearby areas of Hama, Aleppo and Latakiya provinces are threatened by the Jabhat al-Nusra and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorist groups.
Idlib remains the only large area in the hands of terrorists after the Syrian military managed to undo militant gains across the country and bring back almost all of Syrian soil under government control.
On August 5 last year, the Syrian army declared the start of an offensive against foreign-sponsored militants in Idlib. This came after those positioned in the de-escalation zone failed to honor a ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey and continued to target civilian neighborhoods.
Under the Sochi agreement, all militants in the demilitarized zone that surrounds Idlib, and also parts of the provinces of Aleppo and west-central province of Hama, were supposed to pull out heavy arms by October 17 2018, with the Takfiri groups having to withdraw two days earlier.
The Syrian army, backed by Russian air cover, has already regained almost all territories once controlled by terrorists, except portions of Aleppo and large swaths of Idlib, which are still held by foreign-backed militants.